KIA Motors has appointed prominent car designer Oleg Son, 56, as head of design for China to lead Kia’s design activities and expand the brand’s design in the Chinese market. Son has until now been the head of design for Citroen, specifically for the DS brand. He has been responsible for the funky and sporty Citroen DS sport designs, the acclaimed new DS3 and the distinctive new DS5.
Son will be based in Shanghai as Executive Director and Head of KIA Design China. He reports directly to President and Chief Design Officer, Peter Schreyer, and Head of KIA Design Centre, Seon Ho Youn, and is responsible for managing the KIA design team located in Yantai. He will work closely with the Hyundai-KIA Research and Development centre in China, to strengthen and expand its design capabilities. He will also be working closely with other chief designers including Gregory Guillaume in Europe, Tom Kearns in the US, and recently hired KIA Head of Styling, Pierre Leclercq.
Son has lived and worked in Asia, North Africa and the United Kingdom at various points in his life, and is fluent in both English and French. He has a degree in Industrial and Transportation Design from École Nationale des Arts Appliqués et Métiers d’Art in Paris, and another in Transportation Design from the world-renowned Royal College of Art in London.
Son describes himself as a designer attracted by cultural diversity and looks back at his time spent working in China as a precious, inspiring, enriching human and cultural experience. He also cites it as his main source of inspiration.
“Oleg Son brings extensive experience in China and unparalleled market insight,” commented President Schreyer. “His experience and expertise will play a vital role in opening new opportunities for the KIA brand in the Chinese market.”
Son is joining KIA at the beginning of November and will be involved in creating a long-term design strategy in China, shaping the company’s design innovations with a focus on the development of new models specifically created for the Chinese market.